RealNews

Stronger IRA Commitment Sought

Britain, Ireland Say Peace Process Hinges on Firm Vow to Disarm. The Northern Ireland peace process remained in a state of suspension today as Britain, Ireland and a senior envoy from the Bush administration struggled to coax a definitive commitment from the Irish Republican Army to permanently end violence. An official with British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government said that an IRA statement issued Sunday represented progress, but that Blair and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern were still seeking “necessary clarity” before they could accept it. The two leaders have been waiting for five days to journey to Belfast to announce their blueprint for breaking the province’s deadlocked political process. But they have refused to do so until they get a firm commitment on disarmament from the IRA, the predominately Catholic underground paramilitary organization that waged a 30-year campaign to free the province from British rule. Without that commitment, Blair and Ahern fear they will not be able to induce the main moderate Protestant political leader, David Trimble of the Ulster Unionist Party, to embrace the blueprint and shepherd it through a special party conference later this month. Full Story

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